With an eye on meeting the future energy needs of its customers, Entergy New Orleans, Inc. has filed a formal change of control request with the New Orleans City Council to join a regional transmission organization, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator or MISO.
Entergy New Orleans is seeking to transfer functional control of its transmission facilities to MISO with a target implementation date of December 2013. The utility company will retain ownership of its generation and transmission facilities, along with responsibility for maintaining them.
Initially announced in April, Entergy New Orleans' decision to join MISO followed a lengthy period of study of various alternatives aimed at affordably and reliably meeting the long-term energy needs of the New Orleans community. The company projects that joining MISO will yield savings to customers of up to $46 million over a 10-year period, primarily due to MISO's organized power markets, which allow for a more efficient commitment and dispatch of generation resources, and to the economies of scale offered by an RTO of MISO's size.
"MISO has a well-documented record of reducing production costs while strengthening reliability," said Charles L. Rice, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Entergy New Orleans, Inc. "Extensive analysis has shown that joining MISO provides important and sustained benefits for the homes and businesses we serve in Orleans Parish.
"Becoming part of MISO's extensive, efficient and reliable energy market will help keep energy costs affordable for our customers," he added.
As New Orleans' retail regulator, the New Orleans City Council will continue its regulatory oversight of Entergy New Orleans and its facilities. Additionally, MISO membership brings the opportunity for the City Council to participate in MISO's large-scale regional planning process and its Organization of MISO States, which provides input to MISO's management team and board of directors.
MISO operates an electrical grid across 12 states; with the addition of the Entergy New Orleans and the other Entergy operating companies, MISO will reach from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.